President Uhuru Kenyatta is finally set to open the refurbished Kenya National Theatre Friday afternoon. It should be a historic event which will transform the theatre world.
However, that is only if KNT is managed well and thespians rise to the occasion to produce quality plays that inspire and enlighten, not just entertain and titillate.
Among President Kenyatta’s honoured guests will be Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Prof Micere Mugo whose presence will be a powerful sign that Kenya’s cultural scene may have changed since the days when government critics were either detained or exiled. But only time will tell.
Meanwhile, Angels Never Die opened last weekend at the Phoenix. The truly creepy horror tale runs through September 13. Some may see it as a love story since Fredrick (Emmanuel Mulili) apparently adores Miranda (Nyawara Ndambia). His big problem is that she doesn’t reciprocate his sentiments.
There shouldn’t necessarily be anything creepy about two people not feeling the same about one another. However, when the guy is pathologically obsessed with the girl to the point of stalking her, drugging her and then taking her home where he locks her in his cellar indefinitely, then one might understand why I found the play disturbing.
Which is not to say that I didn’t find the acting superb. I did. In fact, I doubt I would have been so moved by the play if the actors weren’t so convincing.
Both got into their characters so fully that I’d easily recommend the show to anyone who liked watching dramas about mad men and beautiful women whose relationship is less than amicable.
On the other hand, Dirty Sexy Money came back on stage last Friday night at Louis Leakey Auditorium courtesy of Friends of Creative Arts, but the two shows produced that night were insufficient to satisfy FCA fans, so DSM has returned this weekend to Alliance Francaise.
Being a combination comedy and drama, DSM is also something of a murder-thriller in which everyone is hustling everybody else so one can’t easily guess who or if anyone will get hit in the end.
The central scam involves a socialite-blogger-model (Nice Githinji) and her scheming boyfriend (Bildad Mwaura) who’s been planning ‘‘the perfect crime’’ for months and ultimately aims to acquire a chunk of the Headmaster’s (Muthure) multimillion-shilling fortune.
The scam is meant to exploit the fission in the teacher’s marriage, so he initially offers to bump off the teacher for the wife, and then offer the same plan to the man. The show ends with the Headmaster having the last laugh.